By: Jen Russon
When Coral Springs Talk caught up with eight-grader and drama student, Jordan Kaplan, walking to his next class at Ramblewood Middle School, the thespian showed off his spot-on British accent and medieval haircut.
Kaplan is set to play King Arthur in the school production of Spamalot, a musical comedy based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
“I was very surprised and excited when I got the role. I’ve watched Monty Python many times and enjoy doing the accent very much,” he said with a British lilt.
Kaplan lapsed into character, charming his mentor and stage director, Meagan Nagy when he described his costume, and the set still under construction. Camelot comes to life in the school gymnasium, where ‘Spamalot’ will be performed in less than two weeks.
Nagy, a drama department chair at Ramblewood, explained Spamalot differs from previous school productions in many ways.
For one, ‘Spamalot’ will not be at the J.P. Taravella High School auditorium, and, perhaps more importantly, this is the first spring musical her students have performed that relies on audience participation.
“My students have created a medieval set entirely on their own, and will soon transform our gymnasium into an interactive place for King Arthur, his five knights and Lady of the Lake,” said Nagy.
The Tony Award-winning musical was written by John Du Prez and Eric Idle and has grossed over $175 million since it debuted on Broadway in 2005.
As the story goes, King Arthur and his loyal servant, Patsy, travel the land in an attempt to recruit Knights of the Round Table to join them in Camelot. On their epic journey, they encounter a pair of sentries who enact that famous Monty Python bit about the ability of two birds to carry a coconut in their beaks.
The gang from the beloved King Arthur mythology is all here, like Sir Robin, Lancelot, and Lady of the Lake, except their backdrop, is more Excalibur Vegas-style than the stuff of Arthurian legend.
Musical numbers include “He Is Not Dead Yet,” “Laker Girls Cheer” and “The Song That Goes Like This.”
Kaplan said he read everything he could to prepare for the role, as well as grow his hair the way his protagonist, King Arthur would have worn it.
Kaplan added he is looking forward to joining Lori Session’s theatre program when he starts classes at J.P. Taravella High School in the fall.
‘Spamalot Find Your Grail’ performances are Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 14 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students; admission can be purchased online or at the door.
Ramblewood Middle School is located at 8505 W Atlantic Boulevard.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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